By Lara Schwartz,
We live in a connected world. Facebook can tell us what our high school friends had for dinner. Mobile phones and texting make many people available around the clock. When I told my daughter how I used to go to a pay phone to call my cassette-based answering machine – and that I was really impressed at the technology that allowed me to play it remotely when it came out— she looked at me like I’m from another planet. It is another planet in many ways.
One thing hasn’t changed: when it comes to building a career, there is no substitute for face-to-face connections. There is no substitute for a human relationship with someone who knows what we’re capable of doing. Think back on your careers—for most of us, there is a critical human connection that made a difference for us. A teacher, supervisor, or colleague who connected us with a wonderful opportunity. Someone who reviewed our resume and encouraged us to apply for our dream job. An internship where we showed off our talents and proved that we we ready for the next thing. A human, face-to-face connection that worked.
Today AAPD, our partners, and volunteer networks celebrate the launch of Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) 2011. For thousands of students and job seekers across the country, DMD is provides a first-hand experience with the work force. Through a variety of events such as job shadowing, job fairs, and workshops, DMD participants have an opportunity to make a connection that matters. Over the years, DMD has led to lasting relationships that lead to career advice and internships or jobs.
DMD provides a fantastic opportunity to connect. To learn more, visit http://www.aapd.com/site/c.pvI1IkNWJqE/b.5606851/k.CDB/Welcome_to_the_Disability_Mentoring_Program.htm
There are many other ways to promote employment opportunity for people with disabilities: whether you choose to participate in a school mentoring program, hire a person with a disability in your own workplace, or advise a neighbor about career building, you are making a contribution. Our nation’s laws also affect employment opportunity. AAPD advocates for equal access to education and health care, investments in accessible transportation, and long-term support programs that promote rather than suppress employment opportunity. Please sign up for action alerts so that you can be a part of this work:
Then connect with friends, colleagues, and family members and ask them to join in, too.